Brakes Plus Credit Card: Good in a Pinch, Otherwise Skip It

PFG's Rating:

Recommended in specific cases. Use the Brakes Plus Credit Card very cautiously. Requires special attention to on-time payments to avoid very high APR and/or fees. If you need to pay for a large auto repair or maintenance bill right now, but don’t have another way to pay, this can provide a stop gap.

Pros and Cons: Brakes Plus Credit Card

Pros

N

Effectively a temporary 0% interest loan for auto repair if used correctly (make monthly minimum payments and payoff full balance during the promo period. 6 months promotional 0% financing for purchase $199-$749.99 and 12 months for $750+ 

N

No Annual fee

N

They claim they will give a credit approval decision within minutes

N

Reputable issuer (Synchrony Bank)

Cons

s

Very high APR – 29.99%+ – like most store co-brand cards. Be careful to pay off your bill fully each month 

s

Only able to use this card at auto repair and gas locations in the Synchrony Care Care network

s

Only works in the U.S.

s

No rewards 

  • This card does not offer rewards 
  • 29.99% APR – this is extremely high, but not uncommon for store co-brand cards
  • No annual fee – $0 annual fee.
    • Applications are subject to credit approval
    • While they will take into account your total application, we recommend a credit score of at least 520 to be likely for approval
    • Be 18 years old (or the age of majority in your state or territory)
    • Have a government issued photo ID and tax identification number (for example a social security number)
    • Be willing to provide a non-PO Box mailing address
    • None

    Interested in other credit cards?

    Check out our credit card hub!

    Brakes Plus Credit Card Executive Summary: Only use in a car repair emergency 

    Brakes Plus is a credit card for clients of Brakes Plus: Complete Auto Service, which is a national chain of car repair shops. If you have no other way to pay and urgently need to repair your car, it could be an option.

    The card essentially gives you a short interest-free loan – assuming you still make your minimum monthly payments on time (the amount will vary with the balance you put on the card) and pay the full balance within the promotional period.

    You can get 6 months of promotional financing (meaning you pay no interest and only have to make the minimum monthly payments) for purchases on the card is between $199 – $749.99 and 12 months of promotional financing for purchases over $750.

    There are no rewards or cash back on this card! The only real feature or benefit is promotional financing for auto repair and maintenance bills you need to pay right now.

    Our Overall Recommendation 

    Recommended only if you need to make a large ($250+) car repair payment quickly, don’t have another means of paying, and live near a Brakes Plus location. It’s not very helpful in other contexts.

    If you live in a state without Brakes Plus, another similar option is the Synchrony Car Care Credit Card itself. The Brakes Plus Credit Card is really just a co-brand version of the Synchrony Credit Card.

    The features and benefits are the same and it’s still offered through Synchrony Bank.

    But check our detailed review to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of this card.

    Let’s get into all the details ⏩ 

    What is the Brakes Plus Credit Card?

     Let’s check it out

    The Brakes Plus Credit Card is a credit card issued by Synchrony Bank, a large financial services company that issues hundreds of co-brand credit cards like this one.  

    The card’s purpose is to help you pay for emergency auto repairs or car maintenance care. The card’s chief benefit is its special financing, which works as follows: 

    • 6-month special financing on purchases between $199 to $749

    • 12-month special financing on purchases over $750

    With car repair costs in these ranges, you can pay over time with interest-free installments as long as you pay the minimum monthly payments (amount depends on balance) and also the full balance within the allotted time frame (6 or 12 months). 

    While this can be and often is helpful, be cautious since if you do not make those monthly minimum payments and pay off the full balance during the promotional period, this card’s 29% interest rate means that you pay far more than initially anticipated.

    Note that car washes, gas, and other purchases do not receive consideration for special financing. If you put these purchases on this card and don’t pay the balance off in full each month, they will accrue interest. This contrasts sharply with many credit cards which actually offer higher rewards rates than their baseline on gas purchases.

    s

    Where can you use the Brakes Plus Credit Card?

    Where you can use your brakes plus credit card

    Where can you use the Brakes Plus Credit Card?

    Compared to most credit cards, its range is severely limited, as it is only accepted at locations where the Synchrony Car Care Credit Card is accepted. If you plan to use it, make sure the auto shop you’re planning to go to accepts this card first.

    Though it is an offshoot of the Synchrony Car Care Card, the Brakes Plus Credit Card is meant to help Brakes Plus customers. That specification makes this car care credit card regionally limited to a few states, even though all Synchrony Car Care locations accept it.

    To see a complete list of where this card is accepted and if there are eligible locations near you, you can check on Synchrony’s site.

    Brakes Plus Credit Card Pros and Cons at a Glance

    Brakes plus credit card pros and cons

    Pros at a Glance

    To summarize, the card’s pros are as follows

    • No annual fee

    • 6-12 month interest-free financing on orders/purchases between $199-$749

    • Convenient online access/banking

    • Free monthly payment estimator

    • A quick decision about eligibility for the card – Brakes Plus states that most credit decisions will be made in minutes

     

    Cons at a Glance

    While the card’s special financing perk is particularly helpful in making sure you can get your car repaired or your parts changed quickly, it cannot cover much beyond that. 

    The Brakes Plus Credit Card’s 29% interest is far higher than many other credit cards, although not atypical for most store cards and co-brand cards. Consequently, you should only be using this for cases where special financing can apply and not for any other purchases, as you will not earn any rewards and won’t receive any promotional financing.

    • Not usable for anything other than auto repair/auto services

    • No promotional financing on gas station purchases

    • Cannot be used at all car service retailers

    • High-interest rate (29%)

     

    A

    Final Thoughts on the Brakes Plus Credit Card

    There is one particular use for the Brakes Plus Credit Card, which is if you have to pay for a major car repair right now, but don’t have another way to pay.

    But we would only recommend it if you have a location of this chain near you. If you live in another part of the country, you can use the Synchrony Car Care Credit card, which we may even recommend if you live near a Brakes Plus.

    Otherwise, definitely skip this card!

    Eligibility

    To get the Brakes Plus card, you will go through a credit check. To be eligible for a check, you must have a valid email, address, and phone number and show your social security number and annual income.

    Finally, you must have a reasonably good credit score to be considered for the card. Many store cards have lower credit requirements than average, general-purpose credit cards.

    Background Information on Brakes Plus Credit Cards 

    Brakes Plus credit cards, like many other store credit cards, are managed through Synchrony Bank. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Get fast answers to the most common questions 

    Where specifically can I use a Brakes Plus Credit Card?

    Brakes Plus is a car repair and maintenance chain with 107 locations in the following states

    • Arizona 

    • Colorado

    • Iowa

    • Nebraska

    • Texas

    • Wyoming

    Most of their locations, however, are in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, and Colorado. While their name leads customers to believe they only repair or check on brakes, they offer services ranging from brake checks and alignment to steering and suspension repairs. 

    I'm looking for my Brakes Plus credit card login

    If you just need your Athleta credit card log in, try navigating here. 

    Or try searching Google for “Synchrony Car Care login” or “Syncrhony care credit login”

     

    Is Synchrony Bank reputable?

    We think generally so. They’re a large, public company, that’s been around for a long time and is the bank behind hundreds of store-brand credit cards

    Am I in the right place?

    Common misspellings for this card include:

    • Breaks plus
    • Brakesplus
    • Brake plus

    Don’t worry – if you’re searching for these, you’re in the right place!

    What are some similar cards?

    Check out all of the co-brands of the Synchrony Car Care Credit Card here 

    We also have reviews of these:

    Editor's Note:

    At Personal Finance Guru, we want to help you maximize your lifestyle through personal finance. You can trust the integrity of our independent financial advice. Our opinions our own and have not been provided, review, approved, or endorsed by any advertiser or financial product provider. To support and grow the site, however, we may receive compensation from the issuers of some products.